After approval was given to Wilmette School District 39's Educational Foundation by Wilmette trustees to hold a circus fundraiser in September, readers commented on Patch about animal cruelty and safety concerns.
Valerie J. Chalcraft, who also brought these concerns to village trustees' attention at last week's meeting, wrote on Patch, "My points at the meeting were that the brutal training NOT SEEN BY THE PUBLIC combined with confinement and travel the animals experience lead to fear, frustration and unpredictable behavior."
Patch reader Janie Jenkins wrote," Having a circus at a school fundraiser or anywhere in our community is a bad lesson for kids. We need to teach our children to respect animals and treat them humanely."
Tracey Kearney, president of District 39 Education Foundation, told the village board and attendees at Tuesday's meeting that the fears expressed are unwarranted. The circus, which has taken place every other year since 2002, is regulated and licensed she explained.
"We're very careful about choosing our fundraisers and are sensitive to the residents of Wilmette," Kearney said. "Our experiences with the Kelly miller Circus to date...have been entirely without incident."